I’ll keep things short today. Because, you know… #itsFriday
Seriously, the time suckage around here is epic.
There are tweets to be tweeted, pins to be pinned, statuses to update…
And then there are the jack-0-lanterns that need to be carved, candy that needs to be taste-tested (for safety, of course), and certain doggies that need to sit still for their final costume fittings.
What can I say? #IcantwaitforHalloween
So we need to be efficient today, right? Right.
It’s time to bust out our go-toiest go-to recipe. That one that’s sure to please and simple to prepare. You know? Yes, you know.
I adore these cookies. Why? Cuz.
1. Cuz their flavor is a unique, not overly-sweet blend of chocolate, dried chiles, coffee and cinnamon.
2. Cuz they can be adapted to suit whatever event you’re baking to celebrate. Like I’ve done here, with pumpkins #cuzitsalmostHalloween
3. Cuz they’re simple. Crazy simple. So you have time for more Twittering, Facebooking, Pinteresting, what have you.
Since the cookies are so simple, you’ll have plenty of time to whip up frosting (you can tweet while you whip). I went with a basic confectioners’ sugar-based cookie frosting.
The super-sweetness of the frosting is a nice compliment to the cookie.
So there you have it. Are you excited? Are you pumped up? Are you freaking out with Halloween Fever?
#yes #yes #yes
Chocolate Chile Shortbread
For the cookies:
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. white sugar, granulated
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tbsp. instant espresso powder
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp. ancho chile, ground
1 1/2 tsp. canela, ground (ground cinnamon may be substituted)
1/4 c. buttermilk
For the frosting:
3 c. confectioners’ sugar
6 tbsp. whole milk
4 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
optional food coloring
optional sprinkles for finishing
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt, cocoa, espresso powder, ancho and cinnamon together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and continue to beat. Mix in the sifted ingredients. Your dough will be dry and very crumbly. Add the buttermilk. Your dough will still be crumbly, but it should be moist enough to form into a solid ball. At this point you can continue on and complete your cookies or you can wrap and refrigerate your dough for up to a week.
To finish your cookies, roll the dough out to a thickness of approximately 1/4″ and cut into the shapes of your choosing. Place cut cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Baking times will vary if you choose to roll your dough out thicker. You should test your cookies after 15 minutes – finished shortbread will be crisp and slightly darker at the edges. Remove baked cookies to a rack to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by whisking the powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice together (once the frosting is smooth, you can whisk in the food coloring of your choosing).
Dip the front of cooled cookies in freshly whipped frosting (the frosting will develop a skin if it sits out for awhile, so you’ll just want to be sure to whisk it for 30 seconds just before dipping your cookies). Set frosted cookies on a piece of parchment paper and finish with the sprinkles and/or decorations of your choosing. Trim and clean any cookie messes, errant sprinkles, etc. Serve or store for up to a week in an airtight container.
YIELD: approximately 38 cookies